Arts & Events

Around & About Theater: foolsFURY's POSH; Yakshagana in Woodside

By Ken Bullock
Friday September 21, 2012 - 10:17:00 AM

foolsFURY, one of the most original Bay Area theater troupes, specializing in movement and gestural theater, sponsors of the annual FURY Factory theater festival, founded by Ben Yalom over a decade ago, has presented shows in venues like the Ashby Stage ('Monster in the Dark') to acclaim. Their latest is Sheila Callaghan's play, 'Port Out, Starboard Home,' a trip on a luxury cruise ship whose passengers escape their lives at home to descend into a surreal ritual, directed by Yalom, with its final two (of 11) performances this Satuday at 4 and 8 at Z Space (formerly Theatre Artaud), 450 Florida Street (near 17th Street) in the Mission-Potrero, San Francisco. $25-$30. 

Yakshagana, one of the great ancient (as early as the 11th century) traditional theatrical forms from South India, closely related to Kathakali, will be performed from 4:30-7:30 Saturday, September 29, by Yaksha Manjusha (the only troupe led by a woman, Vidya Kolyur, daughter of a well-known performer), at Woodside High School, 199 Churchill (near Alameda) in Woodside.  

Famous for their extravagant traditional costumes and make-up, similar to Kathakali in some respects, Yakshagana is a dance theater, reenacting mythic stories and scenes from the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, displaying mudras, the hand symbols familiar from Hindu visual art and dance, but employing dialogue, versus the silence of the actors (except for stylized cries) in Kathakali. The last time I can recall an Indian Yakshagana troupe performing right around here was at Mills College in the late 70s, introduced by Martha Ashton, who has studied the form and written a book on the subject. It was memorable--and great fun.  

Organized by the Bay Area Yakshagana Association and KKNC. Tickets: $10, $15 & $50. (510) 475-7242; (Information about the troupe, with some photos and a downloadable brochure at the principal's website: )